Last updated: 20th September, 2001

Elizabeth Siewieder

SN21 by Pete Thackeray

Contents: Outside Relations • Adventure Hooks • Open Links

"You should have seen the look on the audience's faces!! Absolutely *priceless* - couldn't begin to work out what was going on. Ah! The joy of a show - it's bloody hard work, and we complain *endlessly*, but we love it really! It's all worth it in the end!"

Elizabeth Siewieder

Career: Illusionist (Level 3)
Age: 34
Sex: Female
Height: 5'9"
Hair: Black
Eyes: Green

M WS BS S T W I A Dex Ld Int Cl WP Fel
4 45 36 3 3 9 60 1 52 54 68 48 54 42

Skills: Acting, Arcane Language - Illusionist Magick, Arcane Language - Magick, Cast Spells - Petty Magick, Cast Spells - Battle Magick I, Cast Spells - Illusionist Magick I, Cast Spells - Illusionist Magick II, Cast Spells - Illusionist Magick III, Disguise, Evaluate, Hypnotise, Identify - Plants, Identify - Undead, Magical Awareness, Magic Sense, Meditation, Night Vision, Palm Object, Read & Write, Rune Lore, Scroll Lore, Secret Language - Classical, Silent Move - Rural, Sixth Sense.

Magic Points: 38

Petty: Magic Flame, Marsh Lights, Produce Small Creature, Sounds
Battle I: Aura of Resistance, Flight
Illusionist I: Assume Illusionary Appearance, Cloak Activity
Illusionist II: Ghostly Appearance, Illusionary Buildings, Illusionary Woods
Illusionist III: Illusionary Enemy, Vanish

Description: Elizabeth is a tall, attractive woman with prominent cheekbones. She dresses in flamboyant and colourful clothes, which although originally expensive, have all seen better days. Fastened around her shoulders is a short theatrical cape. Her hair is jet black and cut into a very short practical bob, which is usually pushed back from her face with a band. She carries a cane, topped with a small 2" diameter mirror - this is her version of a wizard's staff. Elizabeth wears a strong and distinctive scent, which has a heavy, spicy aroma - it is easy to tell when she has just left a room.

Personality: Elizabeth is highly intelligent woman, but not at all a stereotypical academic. She is showy and theatrical, with a wild sense of humour and an overpowering vivaciousness. Spending time with Elizabeth can be immensely entertaining and completely exhausting: she is incredibly talkative and her conversation flits from subject to subject with extreme gusto. All her moods are 'big' - she is never 'upset', always 'distraught', never 'happy' always 'ecstatic'. Slightly well spoken, she has a habit of being extremely patronising to people who think they are clever. Slightly irritatingly, she will occasionally assume an air of absent-mindedness, often to allow another conversationalist to fall into an intellectual trap.

Despite her surface frivolity, Elizabeth is capable of extreme seriousness when organising something, especially when working in the Theater. Her mood changes rapidly, and she will become incredibly focussed. When discussing an issue of some import, she will lower her voice to a conspiratorial whisper.

Background: Born in Nuln to an academic family, Elizabeth grew up in a rich educational environment. Her father, the celebrated Erst Siewieder, was a scholar at the University, specialising in the study of anatomy and physiology. As a student he was a great fan of the dramatic arts, making regular visits to see the latest tragedies and comedies at the city's esteemed theatre. He became infatuated with one of the actresses, Giselle Kopfental. Ernst made a point of being in attendance at her every appearance on stage, admiring her beauty from afar, unable to imagine how so beautiful and vivacious a woman could ever look twice at someone like himself. After what seemed like an age, he plucked up the courage to talk to her, and to his amazement she consented to accompany him to a society ball. Inevitably, although Ernst was incredulous at the fact, she fell in love with him, and the two were married.

Despite the considerable difference of temperaments, Ernst and Giselle became an inseparable couple. While he grew in status within the University, Giselle continued in her career as an actress. They had two children, Armand and Elizabeth. The two grew up to be uncanny mirrors of their parents - Armand becoming a rather dour and studious man, who followed his father into academia and Elizabeth flourishing in the performing arts. Elizabeth received an enlightened education from her unusual home conditions, and consequently developed a fierce and passionate thirst for knowledge, combined with a desire to perform. The two children spent much of their time at odds with each other, but most of their time was spent together in play and study - and a strong bond developed between them.

When she was 17, Elizabeth's craving for performance lead to her joining an acting troupe, the Schablone Players. With the encouragement of her parents she took to the stage, beginning with the more minor roles, and culminating in the part of Clara in 'Magritta of Nuln', a challenging role for which she won some critical acclaim. The play was such a success that the writer, one Sigmund Ackbernn, decided to take the Schablone Players on a tour of the towns and cities of the Empire, with Elizabeth as his 'indispensable Clara'. Elizabeth was heading out into the world.

The Schablone Players toured the Empire for 3 years performing 'Magritta of Nuln' and many other plays. Elizabeth became an important and valued member of the company, often taking the roles that required good comic timing and a degree of restrained emotion. During her time on the road, Elizabeth began to take an interest in the use of magic in performance, particularly Illusionist magic. It is not uncommon for Illusionists to have an association with the dramatic arts, and when the troupe reached Averheim, Elizabeth found an appropriate master to begin her apprenticeship. Taking a temporary hiatus from performance, she studied hard at learning the basic theory and rudimentary practice of magic. Her prodigious intelligence was of considerable benefit, and it wasn't long before she completed her apprenticeship and progressed to becoming a fully-fledged wizard capable of gaining new magical knowledge under her own guidance.

Elizabeth caught up with the Schablone Players in Middenheim, where she immediately began to put the few petty spells she knew into use during performance. Whilst this was the beginnings of what she had wanted, she inevitably became a little frustrated with the limitations afforded by her magical knowledge. There can only be so much dramatic impact from a marsh light appearing on the stage.

The tour continued and Elizabeth acted and conjured through the larger towns and cities of the Empire. As the company travelled, she studied magic under many different tutors - using the expertise of whoever was available to pick up spells that could be deployed in the theatre. It is not unusual for Illusionists to learn in this way, and many of her teachers were willing to provide her with training in exchange for some help with their research or some gold. As her magical experience increased, so she began to take less of an active role in the theatre, preferring to be cast in smaller parts and using magic to augment the other actors performance.

The travels of the troupe were not without incident, and Elizabeth still loves to tell tales of their adventures on the road. But not all the events were amusing diversions. When the troupe were on the road to Kemperbad, travelling through the forested roads, they became involved in a brawl at a roadside inn. Their opponents were local farmers who took offence at the actor's ostentatious behaviour and threatened Sigmund Ackbernn. In the ensuing fracas the actors made short work of the farmers, helped in part by Elizabeth's subtle use of an Aura of Resistance. However, while the fight was taking place, one of the farmers, a cackling half-wit, grabbed one of the cast, and dragged him away into the forest. He had taken Karl, a 16 year old boy who was much beloved by the rest of the actors, not least for the fact that he was Sigmund's son.

When the actors realised that Karl had disappeared, three of them set off in pursuit of the farmer who had taken him: Elizabeth, Otto and Dieter. Sigmund had to be restrained from accompanying them, distraught and insensible as he was. Karl had evidently been struggling, as the undergrowth was badly trampled and the search party had little difficulty following the trail. Crashing through the forest with only lanterns to light their way, they concerned themselves only with the chase, and this was to be their downfall. Dieter fell headlong into a hunter's pit, which the farmer had passed deliberately, and broke his leg. It was decided that Otto would stay with Dieter, rather than leave him alone in the forest at night, and Elizabeth would go on. Setting out once more, she began to grow distinctly uneasy - the forest was eerie in the moonlight, and her sixth sense was telling her that something was amiss. The trail was leading steadily uphill now, and the trees were thinning as she ascended the slope. There were peculiar sounds coming from the path ahead of her - something that had the timbre of a reed pipe, but with a darker, more sinister quality. She hurried on.

Elizabeth emerged from the forest into a clearing atop a small hillock, and cautiously peered at the summit. Her sense of foreboding and dread had almost prepared her for the terrible, but even then she was not prepared for the sight that greeted her. The hill was surmounted by a single monolith of some volcanic black stone carved with ancient druidic signs, which had been partially obliterated by daubings in some other script, which hurt her eyes when she tried to fix her eyes on the individual sigils. On the ground in front of the stone, Karl was stripped to his breeches and tied to stakes, which had been plunged into the bare earth. The moonlight gave the scene the quality of a dream, and Elizabeth hesitated for a moment, unsure as to whether she was really witnessing the sight in front of her. Around Karl's' prostrate form danced two figures, one of which she identified as the half-wit farmer, cavorting clumsily in some parody of the dances performed to welcome in the spring. The other figure made her gasp in shock. It was some sort of humanoid, with the legs and hooves of a goat as it's lower portions. It's upper half was that of a man, but with rotting flesh peeling away from the exposed bones of it's chest. Its arms were withered and stick-thin, and it's long fingers held a curious pipe to its mouth. The face was the most shocking of all - the eyes were absent, with only smooth featureless skin in their place and the nose was little more than a festering hole. A pair of stunted horns pushed through the curly hair that grew upon the head, and down its back. Tiny vestigial wings flapped rottenly from the creature's back as it pranced and played on the pipes. The two were acting out some hideous rite, which seemed to have echoes of the druidic practices which Elizabeth had witnessed in some of the more remote hamlets which she had passed through. But this was a twisted bastard version that seemed somehow to celebrate death and decay rather than life and nature.

Elizabeth was shaken, but rather than flee she summoned all her resolve and was forced into taking action. She fumbled within her bag for a mask and whispered the incantations to take on the appearance of an enraged orc. The loathsome pair both turned towards her in shock as she broke from the trees, howling and waving her sword. The demon-thing dropped its hands from its face, and abruptly the music stopped. The farmer howled in anguish and cowered by the monolith, assuming a fetal position and screaming wildly. Elizabeth began to feel a sense of dread as the demon-thing just stood there looking at her, seemingly not fearing for it's own well-being. When she was within 2 yards of it, she looked into those featureless pits where the eyes should be, and felt something looking into her very being. Her thoughts and memories were being rifled through and read. She flagged, and her illusion faded. The demon-thing abruptly vanished. There was no sound or inrush of air: one moment it was there, and the next it was gone.

Elizabeth recovered her wits and walked shakily over to Karl. He had passed out long before, and she was relieved that he had missed the events that had occurred about him. She cut his bonds and walked over to the farmer, waving her sword before her unsurely. He had ceased screaming, and was hissing a meaningless jumble of syllables in some unknown tongue. Elizabeth ordered him to turn around. Only then did she see what he had done: he had pulled his eyes from their sockets, and sat grinning at her idiotically. His eyes lay on the ground before the monolith - Elizabeth was repulsed. Taking Karl over her shoulder she left the scene of the ritual and walked back to the inn exhausted.

Upon arrival at the inn, she was greeted warmly by the troupe particularly by Sigmund, Otto and Dieter. The farmers were sat in the corner nursing bruises, but conversing happily and drunkenly with the actors. All were concerned to know what had happened, but Elizabeth only told of catching the imbecilic farmer and leaving him in the forest. The innkeeper and the farmers admitted to having never seen the farmer before tonight and had felt uneasy at his presence since he arrived earlier that night.

The Schablone Players moved on, and the events of the night became another story of their travels, with Elizabeth as the hero - a role that she was uncomfortable with. Two months later she began to be plagued by nightmares of the demon-thing - she would always dream of a time or place form her childhood, when she was secure and happy. It was into these scenes that the demon-thing would stalk, dancing around her family and friends. In the dreams Elizabeth could not warn them of his presence, and she would always awake terrified and sweating with a slight fever.

One night she dreamed that she was playing with her brother Armand again. She was 8 again and he was 12 - they were walking through the garden of the family home and playing some guessing game. Suddenly, the demon-thing appeared, and danced alongside her brother. Once again her warnings were in vain, but this time she did not awake. The demon-thing leaned across and pulled Armand away from her, brushing the hair on his head as it did so. Armand began to sicken as the demon-thing dragged him into the bushes. Elizabeth awoke and sobbed until morning.

The next day, Elizabeth was preoccupied with the health of her brother. Bidding her farewells, she departed for Nuln, promising to return to the Players as soon as she had visited her family. As she approached the great city, she felt a recurrence of the dread that had preceded the events on the hill in the forest. She knew what she would find, and she was not surprised when she entered the rooms of her brother to find her mother and father crying over his corpse. He had died of a brain tumour only hours before her arrival.

Elizabeth spent the next eight months in Nuln with her parents, during which time she told them of her travels and adventures (omitting once again the incident in the forest). The nightmares had ended, and the three remaining members of the family gradually returned to their old selves through the slow period of mourning. Elizabeth once again became outgoing and was eager to get back to her life in the theatre. She set out once again to find the Schablone Players, who according to the last letter she had received from them, were heading east to Bergsburg.

Upon arrival in Bergsburg, she instantly fell in love with the city. The healthy air appealed to her, as did the Tiegel Theater in which the Schablone Players were performing. She fell in love with Hans Blausinger, who was the Theatre's playwright in residence, and the two have 'enjoyed' a tempestuous on-off relationship ever since. The Schablone Players stayed in Bergsburg for longer than they had in any of the other cities on their travels, but after 4 months Sigmund decided that it was time for them to return to Nuln. Elizabeth had become settled at the Tiegel, and the whole troupe knew that she did not wish to return with them to the city of her birth. Tearfully they departed and Elizabeth settled in the city, working at the Tiegel and joining the Wizard's Guild to provide some magical services to the people of the town.

Since settling in Bergsburg, Elizabeth has become well established, making friends easily and becoming a popular member of the academic class. Her position at the theatre has been very successful, with her production of 'The Thief of Quenelles' being loved by critics and the public alike. She has taken an unofficial role in raising funds for the theatre by courting potential patrons of the arts. Her ability to make short, small-scale illusion-based entertainment usually impresses reluctant benefactors sufficiently to swell the Theatre coffers a little.

Elizabeth does not have an apprentice, as she considers herself too young to be teaching anyone anything. However, should she take one, she intends to train someone connected with the theatre, possibly an actor, or maybe one of the stagehands. Any PC who would like to train under her will need to do a lot of spear-carrying before she takes any notice.

As mentioned above, Elizabeth has a stormy relationship with the playwright Hans Blausinger. The two of them are forever at each other's throats, but seem to be destined to stay together indefinitely. She can often be seen storming out of his house cursing 'that impossible scribbler' and the two of them argue loudly in inns throughout the finer parts of the city.

Elizabeth has not had any nightmares for years, but she is still haunted by the image of the demon on the hill. Only those she trusts implicitly know about the events of that night. Part of her wants to find out what it was and how to finish what began all those years ago. The other part of her thinks that she should leave it behind. Katrin and Hans are certain to know about her brother and the demon, but are at a loss to help her. Few people would believe that a woman so seemingly untroubled could harbour such a psychological scar, and she sees no reason to let them know.

Ouside Relations

  • Wizard's Guild
    Elizabeth is a fully paid-up member of the Guild. Although she has never got on particularly well with the older element, who see her as brash and showy, they will usually consult her on issues which involve Illusionist magic. She is getting irritated at the Guild's constant attempts to foist an apprentice onto her.

  • Tiegel Theater
    Elizabeth spends much of her time at the Theater and will be here at most times of the day and during any performance.

    More details will be found in the entry on the Tiegel Theater, but it should be noted that the use of Illusionsit magic in the Theater is not blatant. Indeed, it is part of the art of an illusionist to maintain the audience's ignorance as to whether what they saw was clever staging or magic. This is also important when considering the superstition and fear which surround magic use throughout much of the Old World. Elizabeth makes much use of fireworks and clever lighting in performance, and the illusions she employs will act as a complement. Audiences will never be sure that anything was an illusion - so a 'ghost' may have been clever staging or an illusion. The ingenious use of costume will only confuse matters further. Wizards and the more cosmopolitan theatre goer will have strong suspicions of magic use, but almost no-one will be certain. Elizabeth's connection to a performance will make it fairly obvious that magic is being used, but no-one will know what her billing as 'Visual Director' actually involves.

  • The Dancing Landlord
    Like many of the actors and staff of the Theater, Elizabeth is regular guest at the Dancing Landlord, where she is a popular and frequent visitor. After a successful first night, she will be found here, rather more 'talkative' and 'excitable' than usual.

  • Malkus Pflaubert
    Malkus Pflaubert is an alchemist who funds his more esoteric studies with the manufacture of explosives and fireworks. Among his customers is Elizabeth, who obtains flash powder and fireworks for the Theater from him.

  • Shrine of Ranald
    Elizabeth has forged a very strong friendship with Katrin Speigel through her attendance at the Shrine. The two of them can often be seen together, creasing up with laughter as they gossip and plot. Between them they have come up with a an alter ego for Katrin, who disguises herself as Bernhardt von Wilden, a raconteur who attends all society events. This character is both an amusing diversion and a political tool, although Katrin is more concerned with the latter than Elizabeth. For more details see the entry on Ranald's Shrine.

    Elizabeth worships Ranald in his aspect as Deceiver, which is the obvious choice for Illusionists, but is also popular amongst actors.

Adventure Hooks

  • The Eyes Have It (continued from the Shrine of Ranald)
    The demon-thing has not finished with Elizabeth, despite her lack of nightmares. A servant of Nurgle, it has it's origins in the twisted perversion of Old Faith rituals from many centuries ago. More alien to the majority of humanity than most of Nurgle's demons, it does not have any real followers, or even a proper name, although it has been referred to as 'The Faceless Piper' in one obscure demonology tome. The only servant that the Faceless Piper has in the material world is the idiot farmer, his mind is twisted and bent in just the right directions for him to have some affinity to the demon. He can also influence the material world through the feverish dreams of mortals to manipulate them into doing his will. After direct exposure to an individual's mind, it can move through their dreams and those of their closest relatives and friends. This was how he killed Elizabeth's brother, by turning his nightmares into a material tumour in his brain.

    After Elizabeth disrupted the ritual on the hill, the demon performed an act of revenge in the killing of Armand. For a short time it was satisfied, but before long the frustration at it's lack of influence on mortals began to cause the demon to brood on how he could improve his lot in the eyes of Father Nurgle. He still had a strong link to the farmer, who was now living insane and wild in the forest. Elizabeth is his only other means to affect the mortal realm, and his link with her has weakened considerably over the years. He needed a means to find her and exploit once again his intimate knowledge of her mind.

    The demon began to manipulate the farmer, by urging him to kill people who wandered into the woods. Infusing the madman with a small amount of magic, he enabled the beggar to see when he put the eyes of his victims into the empty sockets of his own head. The demon could then share his experiences - the madman's eyes were truly a window on the world. Unfortunately, after a few days the vision becomes clouded as the eyes rotted. Using the madman as a tool to pick up the scent of Elizabeth, he managed to find her location in Bergsburg - a process which took years.

    When the demon found that Elizabeth had settled in Bergsburg he was both ecstatic and unnerved. Here was an opportunity to gain considerable favour in the estimation of Father Nurgle - to strike at his enemy Shallya in her heartland! But this would also ensure that he worked cautiously, as the priesthood of the city are too powerful to risk being revealed. The demon is now very close to finding Elizabeth. The madman is now begging on the streets of the poorer areas of Bergsburg, and has killed several victims to enable the demon to continue the search. These have been mainly 'lowlife', beggars and pickpockets who won't be missed by anyone much. The madman is now sleeping rough near to the Shrine of Ranald, where Elizabeth is rumoured to visit. All the demon needs him to do is locate some eyes, and then he should be able to use the madman to get to Elizabeth...

    Locals have a vague recollection of the madman, especially other beggars, but they can't seem to agree on whether or not he is blind. Some have seen him with empty sockets and other's are obsessed with describing his eyes as 'Dead, like there was no life there. 'Orrible it was. Spare us a crown guvnor?'

    No-one has yet made the link between the recent murders and the beggar. This is where the PCs come in.

Open Links

  • Malkus Pflaubert

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